The history of Cyprus is rich and fascinating, as the island has been shaped by various ruling powers over the centuries. Let’s start with the period of the Ottoman Empire.

In the 16th century, the Ottomans conquered Cyprus and ruled the island for about three centuries. During this time Cyprus experienced a cultural and economic flourishing. The Ottomans influenced the architecture and brought their own culture and traditions. Many mosques and baths were built, which can still be admired today.

However, in the 19th century the Ottoman Empire fell into crisis and the British colonial power used this opportunity to take over Cyprus. The British administered the island from 1878 to 1960, and during British rule Cyprus experienced an economic boom and modernization. The British built ports, roads, and railroads to promote trade. They also introduced a new political order that improved the education system and administration.

In the 1950s, however, nationalist aspirations began, protesting British rule and seeking independence. This led to a turbulent period in which both the Greek and Turkish populations fought for their interests. Finally, in 1960, Cyprus became independent.

However, independence did not bring a lasting solution to the ethnic tensions on the island. The Greek and Turkish populations had different ideas about the future of Cyprus, which eventually led to the division of the island. The history of Cyprus changed in 1974 when Turkey intervened militarily and occupied the northern part of Cyprus. Since then, the island has been divided into a Greek south and a Turkish north.

The Gymnasium in Salamis is an important testimony of the history of Cyprus
The Gymnasium in Salamis is an important testimony of the history of Cyprus

Cyprus economy

Agriculture plays an important role on the island. Especially potatoes are grown in the fields. The red clay soil provides ideal conditions for the growth of these tuberous plants. In addition, there are other agricultural products such as olives, citrus fruits and wine grown in Cyprus.

A major industry on the island is finance, particularly banking. Cyprus has become an offshore financial center and tax haven. Many international companies and wealthy individuals take advantage of this financial structure. This has helped Cyprus become a major hub for financial transactions. Limassol is considered the financial center of Cyprus. Numerous banks and financial service providers are located here.

Another important aspect of Cyprus’ economy is energy supply. The country gets much of its oil from Qatar. Although Cyprus has many hours of sunshine, renewable energy is not yet widespread. The main reason for this is that the initial cost of photovoltaic systems is still quite high. Nevertheless, Cyprus is striving to diversify its energy resources and rely more on renewable energy.

The average salary in Cyprus is around 1,500 euros net. Pensions are usually paid from the age of 65. An interesting fact about Cyprus is that almost every Cypriot owns land. This reflects the cultural importance of property and shows how closely people are connected to their country.